Tacoma Library’s Food for Fines program collected 18,560 nonperishable items to benefit local food banks, in exchange for forgiving overdue fees.
During the three-week program, which ended Saturday, fees held by library patrons were reduced by $24,284.50.
That figure includes patrons who paid their fines in cash, as well as those who exchanged three donated items for $10 deducted from their overdue tab.
The program was to end March 2, but was extended to March 9 when participation showed no sign of easing.
“If it wasn’t slowing down, why not extend it?” spokesman David Domkoski said. “Tacoma responded. Tacoma really cared.”
At the end of the program, 1,097 patrons no longer have fines, and 1,125 joined the library or rejoined after their accounts expired.